The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare has called for active stakeholder involvement in tourism to drive inclusive growth across the country.
Such involvement, she said would effectively harness the country’s cultural assets.
Mrs Osei-Opare was speaking on “Harnessing Cultural Assets for Inclusive Tourism Growth” at the Presidential Summit on Tourism at Peduase in the Eastern region yesterday.
The two-day summit which began on Tuesday and themed ‘Rethinking Tourism for Economic Growth and Job Creation,’ was aimed at bringing together tourism stakeholders to explore new approaches to the tourism industry to promote national development, job creation and sustainable tourism.
The summit was expected to increase awareness and understanding on the need for a new tourism in Ghana; develop new ideas and strategies for sustainable and equitable tourism; increase collaboration and networking among stakeholders in the tourism industry and create an action plan for implementing sustainable tourism practices.
Mrs Osei-Opare stressed the need for the public and private sector to collaborate to promote Ghana’s festivals, cultural programmes and other artistic expressions to ensure that the benefits of tourism were shared equitably.
“This requires us to actively involve local communities in the tourism value chain by empowering them to participate in the sector, whether through artisanal crafts, cultural performances, or community based tourism initiatives,” she added.
Mrs Osei-Opare said communities must of a necessity have some financial share of the proceeds from tourism ventures, investment in education and skills development.
She said tourism practitioners need to invest in training programmes that equip the youth with the necessary skills to excel in tourism related professional.
“By nurturing a skilled workforce, we can enhance the quality of our tourism services and offer unique experiences that sets us apart in the global market,” she added.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, underscored that tourism could revolutionise the country considering the immense benefits that could be generated from it.
He said that was because the creative industry qualified to be the highest employer and greatest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Mantey therefore advised that among other things the policy leadership, promotions and partnerships were deepened to drive tourism in the country.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR, PEDUASE